Thursday, July 19, 2018
News 12 @ 6 pm / NBC 26 at 7
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW / WAGT) – Cover up, wear sunscreen and avoid tanning beds. We hear the warnings about the dangers of skin cancer. It is easy to think, "it will never happen to me". Well, recently it happened in News 12 one of our own here, but a stranger was on the side of Liz Owens.
Some say it's luck. Others call it a coincidence. Maybe I was in the right place at the right time. A month ago, a did not even know the name of the lady. She was a stranger behind me at the Imperial Theater. I know now that she's dr. My name is Sarah Taylor and I meet her for the second time.
"We stood in line and I remember looking at this place and I was so worried and the dermatologist's tail was tingling and I knew I had to say something I felt bad because I'm telling you could make you shocked and horrified. " Taylor tells me. "Yeah, I went back and sat down in my seat and my girlfriend was there and I said I was just a little nuts, I do not know if she's crazy," I said.
Not crazy. Only a doctor. She saw a spot on my arm. I never noticed it myself, but I see it now in old pictures. "It's one of those that will give us the biggest heart attack, which is why I was extremely worried when I saw this point in you," she tells me. I did not know her name at the time, but she asked me to check it. Crazy stranger or not, I have an appointment. The biopsy came back as melanoma. It is the deadliest skin cancer.
"Melanoma is a big deal, people do not think about skin cancer, but it will kill you," warns Taylor. That's because the roots grow deep in your body. "Once you've reached that one-millimeter mark, you've gotten a lymph node biopsy."
I was already halfway there when I was operated on. It's still not pretty to look at and it's still painful, but that will change over time. Timing is all about skin cancer. "I always get emotional, what if you had not stopped me, who knows what would have happened in about a year?" I say to Taylor. She says that she just stopped another person to tell them to get a seat. She did not know me. I did not know her. But I'm glad she stopped me. "I think of my own children and I think I want someone to speak because I want to be around," Taylor said.
Georgia ranks seventh in the nation for most people diagnosed with melanoma. Columbia County is one of the highest in the state.
Skin cancer comes from exposure to the sun over time, which is why it is important to protect your skin every day. Dr. Taylor says to wear sunscreen every day on the face, neck and chest. Cover up when you're outside, even on the beach.
Here's how Dr. Taylor knew I had melanoma by just glancing at the spot:
-There were different colors
-The edges were jagged
It was not asymmetric (one side should look like the other side )
Other signs of skin cancer are changes in size or appearance. I noticed it, but ignored it. Survival with skin cancer is high as long as you catch it early. If you have the above characters, you will be checked.
Albert Einstein said, "Chance is God's way to remain anonymous." I think it.